George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 23 February 1794

From Edmund Randolph

[Philadelphia] Sunday morning 23d feb. 94.

E. Randolph has the honor of informing the President, that Mr Hammond replied yesterday, that he had not received the definitive instructions, which he mentioned to Mr Jefferson1—E.R. begs the President to send by the messenger the decyphering of Mr Pinckney’s last letter. The body of it has been copied; and the other part is wished for the same purpose; that it may be ready for congress tomorrow; together with copies of Mr Hammond’s letter.2

AL, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, GW’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State.

1The instructions desired by British minister George Hammond concerned anticipated negotiations between Great Britain and the United States on violations of the 1783 Treaty of Paris. Thomas Jefferson outlined various infractions and disagreements in a detailed letter to Hammond of 29 May 1792. Hammond acknowledged the lack of “such definitive instructions . . . as will enable me immediately to renew the discussions” on these issues in his fourth letter to Jefferson of 22 Nov. 1793 (Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 26:551–613; 27:418).

Randolph wrote Hammond on 21 Feb. 1794: “From a review of your letter to my predecessor on the 22d day of November 1793, it appears, that you had not then received such definitive instructions, relative to his communication of the 29th of May 1792, as would enable you immediately to renew the discussions upon the subject of it. Suspended as this negotiation has been for so long a time, I have it in charge from the President of the United States to repeat the inquiry whether any instructions have yet been received by you for pursuing those discussions?” (DNA: RG 59, Domestic Letters; ASP, Foreign Relations description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends , 1:328). Hammond’s reply to Randolph of 21 Feb. stated that he had “not yet received the definitive instructions” (DNA: RG 59, Notes from the British Legation; ASP, Foreign Relations description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends , 1:328).

2For Thomas Pinckney’s letter to the secretary of state of 25 Nov. 1793, see n.2 of Randolph’s first letter to GW of 19 February. This letter and the Hammond-Randolph correspondence of 21 Feb. were enclosed with GW’s letter to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives of 24 February.

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